What Do Philosophy Majors Do? LinkedIn’s Answer

LinkedIn, a service I am familiar with largely through doing battle with its hydra-like emailing, has a feature called “Field of Study Explorer.” Its aim is to provide information to would be college students about the kinds of jobs and employers different majors end up with. Of course, what the service really tells you is what kinds of jobs and employers that different majors who are members of LinkedIn and have filled out enough information about themselves end up with. According to the “Explorer,” 391,527 members of LinkedIn studied philosophy in college. Below, I’ve listed the top ten categories of employment and the top ten largest employers of philosophy-majors-turned-LinkedIn-members.   

The top ten categories of employment for philosophy majors with LinkedIn accounts are:

1 · education (47,597)
2 · media and communication (40,154)
3 · entrepreneurship (31,844)
4 · operations (24,271)
5 · legal (24,601)
6 · sales (24,448)
7 · research (23,217)
8 · consulting (22,823)
9 · information technology (18,864)
10 · arts and design (18,320)

(The list goes on, and it becomes apparent from the numbers that some members have listed more than one category of employment.)

The top ten employers of philosophy majors with LinkedIn accounts are:

1 · IBM (603)
2 · US Army (477)
3 · Microsoft (466)
4 · Google (466)
5 · PwC (460)
6 · Deloitte (453)
7 · Accenture (427)
8 · EY (391)
9 · Hewlett-Packard (332)
10 · Apple (330)

A brief news item about the service is here.

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Philip Kremer
9 years ago

And, somewhat randomly, the top ten Alma Maters of philosophy majors with LinkedIn accounts:

Oxford, 8567
Toronto, 3301
NYU, 3297
Berkeley, 3272
Boston College, 2949
LSE, 2932
Harvard, 2598
UCLA, 2534
Penn, 2526
Columbia, 2429

Alison Reiheld
Alison Reiheld
9 years ago

A related issue is whether the philosophy major is a sole major or a double major, and what associated minors are. For instance, are folks working in Art and Design now former double majors in Phil and Art? Are folks working for IBM just phil majors, or double majors in Phil and Comp Sci?

I have read elsewhere (and regret that I cannot extract the source from my memory) that Phil boosts earning power as part of a double major (ANY double major, or almost any), but is not an employment advantage as a single major.


9 years ago
H. G. Wright M.D., PhD.
H. G. Wright M.D., PhD.
7 years ago

I went to medical school. Then 30 years after finishing my undergrad BA in philosophy I got a PhD in philosophy. I was still working evenings and weekends in pediatrics. Subsequently, I wrote two books, the latest “Ontic Ethics” Rowman & Littlefield. When people asked me what I planned to do with my PhD in philo I was able to say “Nothing, if I want to– I already have an M.D.” Seriously, though, I think a philosophy degree for an undergrad is one of the best, primarily because you learn to think and write well.